Family Success Story: Spring Break

Thanks so much to Lauren for sharing her success story! Lauren and her family’s spring break in Las Vegas and Palm Springs including a trip to Joshua Tree National Park and were able to cover 6 hotel nights and all of their flights with points!

For our Spring Break trip, we decided to visit Las Vegas and Palm Springs. As a family of 4, traveling is expensive and most of our recent trips have been road trips and Airbnb rentals. But we recently discovered points and miles and now flying on a plane is possible without clearing out our travel savings account.

We flew from Dallas to Las Vegas, spent three nights in Las Vegas, rented a car (our biggest out of pocket expense) and then drove to Palm Springs. We spent two nights at a great resort in Palm Springs then drove to Ontario, California for a quick stay before our early morning flight back to Dallas.

We had a blast visiting the The Lion Habitat Ranch just outside Vegas, the Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Mandalay Bay Aquarium, Joshua Tree National Park, The Living Desert Zoo, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. 

How They Saved on Flights

For our Southwest flights, we used just over 71k points for 4 people. This covered flights from Dallas to Las Vegas and then from Ontario, CA back to Dallas.

Early in January, we had earned our Southwest Airlines companion pass by signing up for both a business and personal Southwest Airlines credit card. This not only earned the companion pass but earned a lot of Rapid Rewards points (Southwest’s miles currency). We used points earned from our Southwest Airlines credit cards.

How They Saved On Hotels

For our six hotel nights, we stayed at Hyatt properties and used a total of 72,500 points that we earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus as well as referral points.

Four of our six nights were at Hyatt Place properties and even though they aren’t the fanciest hotels out there, it’s hard to beat the free breakfasts (kid-approved!). 

[Katie’s Note: There are two Hyatt Place properties in Las Vegas, both cost 9,000-15,000 points per night]

And there’s a reason why everyone loves Hyatt in the points world…they have some great redemption spots. Definitely check out the Hyatt Desert Oasis for beautiful views, a fantastic pool and a super kid friendly property. They even had games and puzzles we could check out,  a life-size billiards set-up with a soccer ball, and movie night at the pool.

Hyatt Desert Oasis costs 9,000-15,000 points per night and rooms all have separate bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.

Total Savings

If we had paid cash for the flights and for the hotel rooms, it would have cost us $4,085, which honestly, we wouldn’t have paid. We would have either done a staycation or another road-trip, which don’t get me wrong, are awesome ways to have a family vacation, but we were long overdue to visit family in Las Vegas so it was pretty amazing that we could do this vacation for significantly less.

For other families looking to travel more with their kids at Spring Break or around school schedules, just know that you may have to pay more money or use a little more points for those flights because it’s hard to find a good deal, but there are definitely still deals to be had for hotels.

Cards That Could Cover This Trip

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 60,000 points

Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • $95 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • $15 per quarter statement credit for Instacart
  • Great transfer options to Hyatt, United, Southwest, and more
  • Earn 3x on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of my top beginner cards for miles & points. This limited time bonus can get you at least $1000 of travel. The travel insurance it provides is top tier, too! Get this card early in your travel points journey, it’s a keeper.

A publicly available online offer for 80,000 points ran from March 2023-May 2023. Another 80,000 point bonus ended in Fall 2022. Standard bonus is 60,000 points.

An offer for 100,000 points ended in Fall 2021.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card – Earn 60,000 bonus points
  • $149 annual fee
  • $75 annual statement credit for Southwest purchases
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year
  • 7500 points per year on your card member anniversary
  • 3x earning on Southwest flights; 2x on local transit, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
  • 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 spent
  • Check your Companion Pass strategy before applying
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card – 80,000 point bonus
  • $199 annual fee
  • TSA Precheck/Global Entry statement credit
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year
  • Free in-flight wifi
  • 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 spent
  • 4x earning on Southwest flights; 2x on local transit, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
  • 9000 points per year on your card member anniversary

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